Wednesday, June 25, 2003

DEBACLE WATCH: Some good stuff in the Palm Beach Post today:

No way this is what Miami wants.

No way this is what Miami wanted, or expected, back at the very beginning of the Atlantic Coast Conference-Big East swordfight that's going to end bloody, or at least with enough bad blood to fill South Beach.

Never mind. That's what the Hurricanes have to be thinking right about now. Really, just never mind.

Because this is a mess.


It appears as though Miami is going to have to choose between staying put in the Big East or making a migratory flight in switching its nest to the ACC not with Syracuse and/or Boston College, but with Virginia Tech.

If anyone in the UM family had known months ago what they know now, it's more than a pretty good guess the 'Canes would have told the ACC not to bother.

There was yet another conference call Tuesday night among ACC presidents after which nothing was announced.

What's abundantly clear, though, after the calls and a lawsuit and political involvements is that the ACC moved too fast too soon and the Big East got too angry too quickly and the Hurricanes got too confident too immediately.

Meanwhile the Miami Herald continues to stink at their debacle coverage, probably because--like all newspapers covering their local sports scene--they can't burn their bridges with the Hurricanes. But--I mean--this is not what the University of Miami wanted, but you're not going to read that in the Herald.

Jeff Jacobs in the Hartford Courant reports on one of the more interesting debacle characters, Donna Shalala:

Shalala, the Miami president, can't move her tiny feet fast enough to escape the Big East. League commissioner Mike Tranghese and Blumenthal, the Connecticut attorney general, have broad-sided her integrity, exposed her duplicity and she is furious.

Miami has been called out for falsely assuring Big East schools it isn't leaving, watching schools spend untold millions and bolting anyway.

The Palm Beach Post even quoted one of the school's board of trustees as saying Shalala vowed to never allow the Hurricanes to play at Rentschler Field. Hey, Donna, if Miami picks up the $91 million tab on the new place, we'll call it even. Otherwise, see you in court.

By the way, I'm still waiting for someone to tell me how this makes a huge amount of sense for Miami. The upgrade is mainly Florida State over Virginia Tech (if Tech doesn't leave) which isn't a huge upgrade. The rest of the ACC stinks on ice in football like the rest of the Big East stinks on ice in football. You switch Rutgers jokes for Duke jokes. The hey? The only advantage I can see in the original plan is long-term destabilization of the Big East and the subsequent recruting advantages this would give the ACC, but their braintrust has not proven themselves capable of foresight throughout the Debacle.

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